Common plant and turf diseases

on Aug 25 in Summer Lawn Care, Yard News

Have you ever noticed a white powdery substance on your plants, or large yellowish brown spots in your grass? If you have, more than likely your landscape has been affected by a plant disease. Plant diseases are common in our garden spaces, especially with the summer temperatures and humidity we are frequently experiencing. In this blog we will go over a few diseases and hopefully help you learn how to control them.

That white powdery substance we mentioned earlier on the foliage of a plant is Powdery Mildew. Powdery Mildew is one of the easiest identified fungal diseases. Powdery MildewThis fungus affects vegetable gardens, roses, ornamental shrubs and many common understory trees. The disease loves warm wet and humid periods with shade during spring, summer and fall. That’s why it’s very common in North Carolina. Great ways to control Powdery Mildew before it appears is to space out your plants so that the plants have adequate air circulation, choose plants resistant to the disease, place plant material where it receives at least 6 hours of sunlight, and fertilize at correct rates. Some chemicals we recommend are Heritage 11 MOA, Pageant 7, and Banner Maxx II.

Now, if you have Bermuda grass and are currently experiencing circular dead patches, most likely it is spring dead spot. springdeadspotSpring dead spot is very common in Bermuda grass, and can also occur in other warm season grasses, like Zoysia. This circle size can range from 6 inches to several feet wide. One thing about this disease is it will often occur in the same spot of your turf every year. Each year the patch gradually gets bigger than the year before. Bermuda will eventually grow and fill in the area through the spring and summer depending on the size of the bare area. Many factors can encourage this disease; such as excessive nitrogen, potassium deficiencies, poor soil drainage, over-irrigation, excessive thatch accumulation, and soil compaction. Some ways to help the area to start growing again is to aerate, add some nitrogen to encourage growth, and to fill in the bare spot with sand. Fertilizing at the correct rates will also help with not getting the disease in your turf. The best way to suppress the disease is with multiple applications of fungicides. Here are some fungicides that we recommend using: Briskway, Headway, Rubigan, and Velista.

If you ever experienced any yellowing patches in your fescue lawn, this is typically a fungal disease called Brown Patch. brownpatchBrown patch is a major disease found in most cool season grasses. Like most turf fungal diseases, these patches are circular and range from a few inches to several feet in diameter. Some other commons signs include: morning hours having white mycelium in the affected area, thinning of grass, leaves appear to have tan or light brown lesions surrounded by grayish boarders. This disease loves high temperatures and very wet conditions. Brown Patch can be controlled by fertilizing at the correct rates and correct times. Also be sure you are not overwatering. Some Fungicides we recommend include: Honor Intrinsic, Hertiage, Daconil, Headway, and Prostar.

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